Automaker Perodua has no immediate plans to introduce electric vehicles in Malaysia

Its Japanese shareholder Daihatsu may have unveiled a concept electric vehicle at the Tokyo Motor Show 2017 on Oct 25 but Malaysia’s largest car manufacturer Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) said it has no such plans in the near future.

Daihatsu has a 20% stake in Perodua and a 51% stake in its manufacturing arm, Perodua Auto Corp Sdn Bhd.

Perodua Auto vice-president Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad said on the sidelines of the event that Malaysia’s infrastructure to support such technology – such as charging stations – is not yet widely available.

He told The Star: “Hybrid and EVs require the country to have sufficient infrastructure in terms of charging facilities and range of lithium-ion batteries, which are currently not available in full force.”

He added that a study to look into the impact of EV production and its requirements in Malaysia will be done if Perodua is confident that there is enough support infrastructure.

Daihatsu unveiled five concept vehicles at the motor show, including the DN Pro Cargo mini commercial vehicle, which is an EV.

Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) chief executive Datuk Madani Sahari said the government has taken steps to enable the introduction of EVs.

The government’s policy on EVs, he explained, is two-pronged – to reduce the cost of EV production by allowing lithium-ion batteries to be produced in Malaysia, and to install more charging stations nationwide.

He said that there are currently 230 charging stations being installed with 1,000 stations expected to be ready by 2020.